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Kiss your boring tasks goodbye: Everyday Scripting With Ruby


Chances are, you do some boring, repetitive data-related tasks at work
-- ones a computer could easily do, if only it was told how.

"At one desk, a tester is entering test data into a database by hand. At
another, a programmer is sifting through the output from a
version-control system, trying to find the file she wants. At a third, a
business analyst is copying data from a report into a spreadsheet. Why
are these people doing work that computers could do perfectly well?"
asks Brian Marick, author of the book "Everyday Scripting With Ruby."

---

I've got a review of the book up at Computerworld.com, for those who
might be interested, it's at

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBas...

--Sharon Machlis
Online Managing Editor
Computerworld

--
Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.

Because many corporations that have leaders that are not tech savy
hire people who are and force them to work in conditions that are
paradoxical to the goal and not allowing for enough time to weed out
bugs, proffering that their coders instead create subroutines to solve
the problem instead of writing it out--not to mention the fact that
the leaders don't even understand the problem to begin with!

I don't think I care to make my diatribe any longer, but
worserthanfailure.com showcases this type of corporate failure all the
time.

Also, I'd like to mention that I'd rather people have jobs than have
computers doing them efficiently. In the future, there will be very
few jobs that need actual humans and no one will NEED jobs. But how
will we get there? Will poverty take us over first?

(I know this isn't the place for political commentary, but why
computers don't take over is a very touchy subject. Do we want
computers taking over?)

On Wed, May 30, 2007, Hak@gmail.com wrote:
> Also, I'd like to mention that I'd rather people have jobs than have
> computers doing them efficiently. In the future, there will be very
> few jobs that need actual humans and no one will NEED jobs. But how
> will we get there? Will poverty take us over first?

From this, I infer that you're not a system administrator.  Note that
I'm not saying that's a bad thing, just an observation :)

I have been a sysadmin, and I will be again, and one thing I've learned
is this: if ever you perform a task more than twice, automate it.
You'll save yourself time in the future to deal with real problems.

I used to work in a Network Operations Center where we were primarily
doing reactive "maintenance".  When a system at a site needed to be
kicked, we could either log in and do the multi-step process by hand,
or run a script that automated the process, thus removing the error of
(say) restarting a service on the wrong machine.

I haven't read the book yet, but from the synopsis it seems that it's
really about how you can leverage Ruby to help you do your job more
effectively and efficiently, rather than replacing yourself (or others)
with code.  It's all about finding ways to make your life easier by
automating repetitive, error-prone manual tasks.

I suspect that the type of everyday scripting and automation suggested
by the book is the kind that must be driven by a person, not the kind
that replaces one.

Ben

Ben Bleything wrote:
> I suspect that the type of everyday scripting and automation suggested
> by the book is the kind that must be driven by a person, not the kind
> that replaces one.

You're right. The idea of the book isn't to write code that replaces
people. It's to have people write code that eliminates some of the most
boring, repetitive tasks they do, so that they can spend their time
doing more productive and interesting things.

The fact that I was able to write a script that saves an editor here,
say, 10 minutes a day is certainly not going to replace that editor. But
it could save a couple of hours of editing time a month that could be
put to better use. It also makes for a happier editor, because he's not
doing low-skill drudge work and instead can spend more time doing actual
editing.

Sharon

--
Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.

> I suspect that the type of everyday scripting and automation suggested
> by the book is the kind that must be driven by a person, not the kind
> that replaces one.

I have the book and I would describe it as entry level. If you automated
tasks in the fashion you suggested, you are way past learning anything
from the book.
I've read the book too.

Anyone who's already been a sysadmin probably doesn't have much to
learn from it conceptually. And if you're new to scripting, it's
probably not structured or complete enough to get you started.

It's a good resource, though, if you are new to Ruby and/or new to
scripting. Gives you a bunch of solid concepts, some decent tips for
the ordinary shortcuts the gurus don't want to admit knowing/bother
teaching, and enough idiomatic code to get you going.

Personally, I wish it ran you through some of the better command line
gems (e.g., cmdparse). But hey, that's personal preference. There's
some good stuff in here.

+0.02

On 5/29/07, Sean T Allen <s@ardishealth.com> wrote:

On May 30, 9:44 am, "Stephen Smith" <4fi@gmail.com> wrote:

Though not directly to the topic of the book mentioned, I just wanted
to say that there's another Ruby book, for the area of enterprise
integration, that's pretty good, in an analogous way to the scripting
one mentioned - though it discusses things at a level targetted at
more experienced programmers. I think its a pretty valuable resource
for anyone doing integration work.

I blogged a short review of it here:

http://jugad.livejournal.com/2007/04/15/

Enjoy,

Vasudev Ram
Dancing Bison Enterprises
http://www.dancingbison.com
"Eventually hardware fails. Eventually software works."

On May 30, 6:16 pm, vasudevram <vasudev@gmail.com> wrote:

P.S. Forgot to mention a disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with The
Pragmatic Bookshelf or the author of the Enterprise Integration in
Ruby book in anyway. I just think its quite a good  book.

Vasudev

Sean T Allen wrote:
>> I suspect that the type of everyday scripting and automation suggested
>> by the book is the kind that must be driven by a person, not the kind
>> that replaces one.

> I have the book and I would describe it as entry level. If you automated
> tasks in the fashion you suggested, you are way past learning anything
> from the book.

yes i am agree with you.

--
Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.

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